Jacks back on track against Armadale

Jacks back on track against Armadale

Posted on March 26, 2016 in 'Reports'

ECU Joondalup opened their PS4 National Premier League WA points tally, with a well-deserved 2-0 win against Armadale at the ECU Football Stadium on Saturday afternoon. Tommy Amphlett gave the Jacks the lead in the first half, before new Scottish striker Gordon Smith capped his league debut with the second on the hour.

Smith said it’s good to get his first league goal for the club and most importantly get the win.  “It’s always good to get the first three points of the season, and it’s nice to get on the scoreboard, and I should have a couple more,” he said. “They (Armadale) beat us well in the Night Series, but I thought we dominated today and could have scored a few more. Yes David (Keenan) had to make a couple of good saves at crucial times for us, but I thought we controlled the game and it’s a good start to our home campaign.”

ECU Coach Dale McCulloch said it was great to see Smith get off the mark in the league, but he thought the win was built on a solid defensive display. “It was good win for us, and good for the morale of the side,” he said. “It’s great for Gordy (Smith) to get off the mark, he couldn’t hit a barn door at training on Thursday, but he showed his quality today.

“This win will breed a lot of confidence within the squad, but we had to dig deep today, and I thought we were very good and outstanding defensively. I’ve been very critical of the defence and we’ve conceded too many goal. But we’ve worked in training to make us hard to break down, and we switched it around a bit today, and I thought we had a number of leaders out there today, which is pleasing.”

It was an even opening with both sides going close. Bayley Brown-Montgomery tested Armadale keeper Alfie Brincat with a low shot, before Jesse Fuller long-range shot was saved low by ECU custodian David Keenan. But on 24 minutes the home side opened the scoring. Steven McGarry picked the ball in the middle of the park, and the former Perth Glory midfielder threaded a perfect through ball into the path of Amphlett, who finished clinically via the crossbar.

It should have been two on the half hour. Amphlett drifted past two Armadale defenders before picking out the unmarked Brown-Montgomery in the box, but the teenager blazed over from five meters. The home side were looking dangerous and created a number of good chances. Henry Durr’s long-range shot flashed over the top, before Smith shot on the run drifted inches wide.

Armadale ended the half well, and ECU had keeper Keenan to thank for keeping them ahead. First Alex Salmon cut inside his marker, but his curling shot was well saved by the ECU custodian low to his left at full stretch. Then in the final minute the ECU keeper produced a stunning double save to deny the visitors. First Keenan saved low to deny Salmon, but his follow up save to thwart Banin Hasham was even better.

The ECU custodian was at it again after the break, denying Salmon again, before superbly saving Fuller’s header, all in the opening three minutes.  The home side settled and on 57 minutes a one-two with Smith sent Amphlett in down the right, his shot from the edge of the penalty area was pushed around the post superbly by Brincat.

But three minutes later ECU doubled their advantage. Good lead up play by Smith and Brown-Montgomery, ended with the youngster sending the Scottish striker into the box, and he held off his marker and drilled his shot low across Brincat into the corner of the net.  ECU almost added third on 79 minutes, McGarry’s free kick found Smith, whose header crashed off the crossbar and away to safety.  Both sides had late chances. Raveshian Kuppusamy fired wide when well placed for Armadale on 85 minutes, before Josh Booysen shot hit the base of the post for ECU moments later. But at the whistle it was The Jacks celebrating their first win of the season.

Match Details

ECU Joondalup 2 (Amphlett 24’, Smith 60’) v Armadale 0

Saturday 26th March 2016 – Venue: ECU Football Stadium

Referee: Tom Glavovic – Assistants: Stuart Muldoon and Brian McDonald

ECU Joondalup: GK David KEENAN, 2 Ryan LOWRY (C), 3 Joseph JONES, 4 Shane PICKERING, 5 Coire MCGUIGAN, 8 Steven WALMSLEY, 10 Gordon SMITH (16 Jack OLDHAM 90’), 11 Bayley BROWN-MONTGOMERY (15 Josh BOOYSEN 76’), 13 Tommy AMPHLETT (7 Harley ORR 82’), 14 Steven MCGARRY, 18 Henry DURR – Subs not used: RGK Scott WALLIS, 9 Ollie ANNIS – Yellow Cards: Walmsley 51’, McGarry 52’, Booysen 76’, Jones 88’

Armadale: GK Alfie BRINCAT, 2 Alex CASTIELLO, 3 Jake SARDELIC, 4 Jesse FULLER, 5 Sam LOVELESS, 7 Banin HASHAM (13 Jackson BEALEY 63’), 8 Caleb DIXON (9 Raveshian KUPPUSAMY 81’), 10 Alex SALMON, 11 Ellis HEALING, 14 Darren FRANCIS (17 Trevor LAURE 81’), 15 Nathan SMITH – Subs not used: RGK Alex RADONICH, 16 Jordan CANDISH – Yellow Cards: Nil